With coronavirus deaths breaking records nearly every day, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is concerned—and has a warning. A new variant is here, and it's more transmissible. That means you need to "double down" on some protective measures right now. Read on to see what he recommends—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The New Variants of COVID-19 Will Put More People in the Hospital
Dr. Fauci said the new variant is cause of concern. "We're taking it really very seriously," he said. "You don't want people to panic, but you have to look at it from certain standpoint." He said there's one "from the U.K. that's essentially dominated. That's the one that is actually is seen in the United States. There's another more ominous one. That's in South Africa and Brazil. We're looking at all of them, very, very carefully."
He said, "the Brits have made it very clear that it's more contagious. They say that it isn't more virulent, but, you know, we gotta be careful because the more cases you get, even though on a one-to-one basis, it's not more virulent, meaning it doesn't make you more sick or more likely to die just by numbers alone. The more cases you have, the more hospitalizations you're going to happen. The more hospitalizations you have, the more deaths you're going to have. The thing we really want to look at carefully is that does that mutation lessen the impact of the vaccine? And if it does, then we're going to have to make some modifications, but we're all over that. We're looking at that really very carefully."
What You Can Do Now to Beat the Mutation
"I think one of the things we've got to do, and maybe the silver lining, if you want to call that, is that when you have a variant, that's really very, very, different in the sense of it's more contagious, it tells you to do two things," said Fauci. "One double down on the public health measures that we've been talking about all the time—be very compulsive as the President-elect says, at least for the first hundred days, and maybe more—everybody wear a mask, keep the distance, avoid the congregate settings, but also another important thing: The easiest way to evade this negative effect of these new isolates is to just when the vaccine becomes available, people should get vaccinated. Boy, if ever there was a clarion call for people to put aside vaccine hesitancy. If we can get, you know, the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape and could beat even the mutant."
How to Survive This Pandemic
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.